What Happened: Bally’s and Sinclair this week formed a long-term partnership for the sports betting and iGaming market. The deal will see Bally’s gain access to media and marketing for the Sinclair network of channels and regional sports networks.
Sinclair will gain a 14.9% minority stake in Bally’s through warrants and options. Sinclair also has the option to purchase an additional 10% of Bally’s based on various metrics and another 5% in four tranches over four years based on share prices ranging from $30 to $45.
There are 190 television stations owned and operated by Sinclair in 88 markets along with 21 regional sports networks and the Tennis Channel.
Regional Sports Networks: The regional sports networks owned by Sinclair were purchased from Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) that had to sell them as part of the Fox merger. The channels owned have broadcast rights to over half of the MLB, NBA and NHL teams.
The regional sports networks will be renamed under the Bally’s brand. Sinclair will get fees and a percentage of Bally’s marketing spend for the regional sports network naming rights.
The release said the deal is setting the stage for “further gamification of live sports that will provide audiences a first-of-its-kind interactive viewing experience.”
Sports Betting Market: Bally’s has a land base footprint that covers 10 states with more expected to come. The company believes it can capture a significant share of the $50 billion sports betting and iGaming market.
Bally’s also acquired the BetWorks iGaming platform. Bally’s has rights in several states for online betting.
Benzinga’s Take: Both Sinclair and Bally’s have a market capitalization of under $2 billion. The stocks have risen in the last month but Sinclair remains down 26% year-to-date.
The regional sports networks could be the key to this partnership as they see strong viewer demographics given the loyalty of fans. The networks were dropped from several viewing platforms like Hulu, YouTube TV and Dish Network. Sinclair could be able to re-negotiate with the return of sports and the demand for sports betting content.
Sinclair announced a write-down of $4.2 billion earlier this month on its $9.6 billion acquisition of the regional sports networks.
This could be a great partnership that sees both companies emerge as winners in the growing sports betting market.
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